Hernández (MS ECE '86) – Astronaut's Amazon Film & People Magazine
A new Amazon film and a People magazine article focus on the story of ECE alumnus and NASA astronaut José Hernández's journey into space
From the COE News article – "Gaucho Astronaut’s Journey featured in film just released on Amazon"
The spring 2021 issue of the COE and CL&S Convergence magazine included an article describing a planned film about UCSB alumnus José Hernández (MS ECE 1986), who started life as a migrant farm worker in California and Mexico and eventually spent fourteen days in space in 2009 as a flight engineer aboard a NASA Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
The film, A Million Miles Away, eventually made by Amazon rather than Netflix, was released on Amazon Prime Video on September 15.
See the film's official trailer to get a glimpse of the inspiring story of a man whose tenacity and perseverance would simply not let him give up.
COE/CLS Convergence magazine (Spring 2021) - "Space Tales" (full article)
Excerpt from the People magazine article – "How José Hernández Became First Migrant Farm Worker to Go to Space: 'The Best Disneyland Ride'"
Thirty-seven years passed between José Hernández watching the 17 moon launch on a rickety TV set and becoming the first migrant farm worker to leave Earth’s atmosphere himself.
“Imagine a 10-year-old kid living in one of the worst parts of Stockton, California, watching an old vacuum-tube-technology console TV with the rabbit-ear antenna and grandma's mandatory knitting on the bottom,” the retired astronaut, now 61, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue.
“There’s me kneeling by that black-and-white TV. And there's Gene Cernan, walking on the moon,” he recalls of that pivotal “cold December evening” in 1972. “I said, ‘That's what I want to be.’”
Now, thanks to a new movie starring Michael Peña as Hernández, we don’t have to imagine such a moment. It’s one of many that make A Million Miles Away — which is in theaters and streaming on Amazon Prime Video Sept. 15 — such an awe-inspiring biopic. The film is based on the true story of Hernández’s ascent from itinerant farmhand born in California to Mexican immigrants all the way to NASA flight engineer on the 2009 Space Shuttle mission STS-128.